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Equipment choice and the wife factor � desperate need for advice


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I respectfully ask for your advice on a very delicate matter. I am new to the digital piano / keyboard space having grown up playing acoustic pianos only. I have looked for an acoustic piano for many months but have failed to find any decent sounding piano within my budget (under 3k). The pianos that sound good (Yamaha, S. and S., Petrof, Baldwin, etc.) are way out of my price range new, and difficult if not impossible to find used in my area. So I decide I would give digital pianos a try. Ive been to my local music store and pecked away at Rolands and the Yamaha P-60, P-120 and YPL series. These units sounded ok, not really close to a real piano, until I discovered that they sounded very good when coupled with a studio monitor (amplified speaker). I then considered, why not ditch the whole piano + integrated cheesy speakers idea and go for a synthesized with even better piano sounds and separate speakers. So I did a little research and discovered that Yamahas new S-90ES is supposed to have the best piano sound ever (or at least compared to their other Yamahas). I havent heard one yet in person, but can imagine that it sounds even better than the decent sounding Yamaha P series of digital pianos. Synthesizers apparently dont have built in speakers (which of course everyone here knows, but remember, Im NOT a synth guy). I understand that I can purchase a pair of self-powered speaker (monitors?) and something called a controller box, and then be happy. Here is my problem. My wife doesnt want a bunch of ugly looking equipment taking space in her dining room with speakers, wires, etc. running all over the place. She doesnt mind a big bulky piano or even a keyboard, but at the very mention of speakers, she about flipped her switch! Please help educate me on how a rig can be setup so that I can hear what I play (without headphones) and yet somehow avoid all the clutter of wires, speakers, monitors, etc. so that I can justify to her the purchase of the S-90ES unit.


So, here are my questions:


1) What is the OPTIMAL solution for sound without unsightly messes (small speakers under the unit, or elsewhere in the room, or what)?

2) What is the best combination of small + decent sounding studio monitors to use with a synth (for in-home use, 12x15 room)

3) Does one need one or two monitors? I guess two for stereo imaging?

4) What brands of studio monitors are good?

5) Do I really need this controller thingy? Can I simply go straight from the synth to the powered speaker?

6) Can I use my existing non-powered speakers with some sort of amplifier? (currently I have some old Bose 601 series II) and can a regular hi-fi amp work or do I need specialized hear (I warned you that Im a neophyte when it comes to this stuff).


Any suggestions can help. I realize I could go spend the next 6 months reading electronic musician magazines just to begin to comprehend the stuff you guys already know. However the shortcut approach is always appealingjust ask a group of forum users who are subject experts. Ill understand if I get laughed to scorn for my silly questions however I tried to phrase them as best as possible.


Thanks in advanced for your advice.

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